Talk:History of the Arab–Israeli conflict

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Where are the previous discussions from this page? --MZMcBride 01:05, 14 July 2006 (UTC)


All three of these articles seem to discuss the same things in varying degrees of detail. Let's merge all three of them under the name of "Arab-Israeli conflict." --GHcool 18:56, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Nevermind. See talk page on Arab-Israeli conflict. --GHcool 03:20, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Operation Summer Rains[edit]

Does anyone else think Operation Summer Rains should be added to the history or is it just a part of the al-Aqsa Intifada? --GHcool 03:25, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Addition to the Mandate & 1948 sections[edit]

I am changing the following from the Mandate section:

The Jewish leadership (Yishuv) "adopted a policy of restraint (havlaga) and static defense in response to Arab attacks."[3]

to read:

Some of Jewish leadership (Yishuv) "adopted a policy of restraint (havlaga) and static defense in response to Arab attacks."[3] However, during this same period, the Irgun, led attacks on the Arab population in which more than 250 Arabs were killed.

Also, I've changed the following from the 1948 section:

The Arabs had rejected the plan while the Jews had accepted it. Arab militias had begun campaigns to control territory inside and outside the designated borders, and an open war between the two populations emerged.

to read:

By March of 1948 however, the US was actively seeking a UN approved trusteeship rather than immediate partition. The Jewish leadership rejected this. By now, both Jewish and Arab militias had begun campaigns to control territory inside and outside the designated borders, and an open war between the two populations emerged.

EllenS 02:26, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

EllenS 02:07, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Where do you get the figure of "more than 250 Arabs were killed?" In what time period was this? Certainly Begin wasn't responsible for this (assuming it can be proven it actually happened) because he didn't lead the Irgun until 1943.
And where did you get the info about the UN approved trusteeship that the Yishuv rejected? Its not even mentioned in The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. And what evidence do you have of the claim that "both Jewish and Arab militias had begun campaigns to control territory inside and outside the designated borders?" Please cite your sources. If there is no citation within one week, I reserve the right to revert that passage. --GHcool 03:22, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Added citations as well as corrected an inaccuracy regarding the Peel Commission (citation included). EllenS 19:26, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
And I clarified your Peel Commission correction. I hadn't know about the UN trusteeship proposal. I wonder if the Arabs accepted it ... --GHcool 20:20, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Can you please include a citation for this? Every documentary source I can find says the opposite: that the zionists ultimately rejected the Peel Commission proposal. EllenS 00:01, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I looked it up in the Continuum Encyclopedia and it appears that you are correct. I always assumed the Yishuv accepted the Peel Commission because they accepted the idea of partition (a big first step toward the two-state solution). --GHcool 06:49, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

POV template[edit]

I'm sticking a POV template on this article until further notice. There's quite a bit of POV that seems to have crept into some sections. Gatoclass 16:19, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Could you be more specific please? --GHcool 22:22, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Oh heck, I just spent 20 minutes explaining the reasons and this blasted website ate it. I really can't be bothered detailing all the problems again. But basically, the Arabs are getting the blame in section after section. This is a very one sided account of the conflict. Gatoclass 07:05, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, let's try again.

1. Six day war. All the belligerent actions of the Arabs are recorded, but not those by the Israelis, such as their reprisal raids on Syria and Jordan or their brinkmanship on the Syrian border. Also, the faulty soviet intelligence given to the Egyptians is not mentioned. This has the effect of placing all the blame for the war on the Arabs. It's a one sided account.

2. Yom Kippur war. All it tells us is that the Arabs mounted a suprise attack on Israel. Fails to mention that they were trying to recapture their own territory held by Israel in violation of 242 and after Sadat's land-for-peace offers were rebuffed. So again, the Arabs are painted as going to war for no reason at all.

3. First intifada. What caused it? I quote: "the failure of the PLO to achieve any kind of meaningful diplomatic solution to the Palestinian issue." The Israelis, apparently, bear no responsibility at all for the lack of progress. Beginning to see a pattern here?

6. Oslo peace process. What went wrong? Well apparently the problem was that it was met by "a wave of violence" from Palestinian fanatics. Actually, violence declined greatly in the Oslo years, so this is not even correct. But why doesn't Netanyahu's and Barak's expansion of the settlements get a mention?

7. Second intifada. A list of all the violent things Palestinians did. That's about it for this section. Totally one sided yet again.

8. Arab peace initiative. Why couldn't Israel accept? Because the Palestinians won't end terrorism. And look! Saudi Arabia funds Hamas, proving once more that Arabs can't be trusted.

And so on... Gatoclass 07:31, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Feel free to add any verifiable and information from reliable sources as you wish, but be prepared to cite your sources. Some of what you wrote above simply contradict the facts (such as your interpretation of 242, the implication that the the Second Intifada is something other than "violent things Palestinians did," etc). --GHcool 22:24, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks GH. I'm a tad busy right now, but I'll try to add some balancing info to some of these sections as soon as I can find the time. Gatoclass 23:12, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Feel free "to add some balancing info," but I'm taking the NPOV sign off in a week. --GHcool 00:40, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I commented out, and will remove, the phrase that Israel "put its nuclear installations under international supervision." in Arab Peace Initiative. What does it mean? Where is it from? Sela? What does it there say precisely? This is simply not in the plan in any way shape or form. Israel did not say anything of the kind either at the time, and googling on the phrase just gets 3 hits: this article, an obscure and unrelated 2003, not 2002 Arab suggestion, and an irrelevant one. Whatever it means, it certainly doesn't belong in a brief capsule summary, and it is not in the main articles either. The 2005 Saudi Hamas stuff doesn't really belong there either.
I don't thing Gatoclass's 242 interpretation is clear enough to be right or wrong, and whatever one thinks, the second intifada involved some Israeli violence too, as its article makes clear. In any case, these summary articles should just reflect, summarize and not contradict what is in the main articles. Harmonizing with the main articles should be a first goal to improving this one. If there is good material, encyclopedic standards dictate it should go to the main articles, where it is more likely to be under the watchful eyes of more editors with all points of view.John Z 00:47, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I appologize for calling you JoshuaZ in a recent edit summary. Gatoclass's 242 interpretation is dead wrong. Israel did not violate Resolution 242, which calls for a land for peace settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict, because although Israel accepted the resolution, the Arab states rejected it. Because it was not mutually agreed upon, Israel had no obligation to abide by the resolution. Furthermore, it is important to remember that Resolution 242 does not call for Israeli withdrawal from territories (or "the territories") before the Arabs uphold their end of the bargain to end the state of belligerency. Read any reliable book on the Arab-Israeli conflict and you'll find the same information. (I suggest Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard).
As for the Second Intifada, if you define the term as the period of modern Israeli history beginning in 2000, then yes, there has been violence committed by Israel against Palestinians with the hopes of quelling the uprising. However, if you define the term as a violent movement (literally, an "uprising") unique to the Palestinian people against the Israeli government and civilian population, then Israeli violence during the period would better be categorized as a response to and not a part of the Second Intifada. --GHcool 01:22, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
No problem about the natural mistake, esp since it was for someone who seems a sensible sort. Haven't really edited for some years. You are mistaken about the acceptance of 242, a common one on this oddly obscure issue. The sequence of acceptance was Jordan immediately, Egypt a couple days later, both public; Israel privately a few months later, & publicly & completely in 1970; Lebanon's private and then public acceptance bracketing Eban's statement to the Secretary General in 2/68 IIRC, and Syria relatively grudgingly in 1972 and more unreservedly when it accepted 338 after the YK war. This should be here at Wikipedia (and many other places for that matter) but just isn't, will do it myself and sketch how the interpretations changed one of these days, - I don't think Bard has any incorrect info about this point though. Of course you are right that the resolution does not call for withdrawal preceding ending belligerency under any natural or current interpretation.John Z 04:17, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Israel did not violate Resolution 242, which calls for a land for peace settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict, because although Israel accepted the resolution, the Arab states rejected it.
When I said "Israel violated 242" that was just a shorthand way of characterizing one of the missing factors in the current narrative. It wasn't intended as a proposed statement for inclusion in the article. I quite agree that there are two sides to the issue, both of which deserve their place.
However, if you define the term as a violent movement (literally, an "uprising") unique to the Palestinian people against the Israeli government and civilian population, then Israeli violence during the period would better be categorized as a response to and not a part of the Second Intifada - GHCool
Perhaps so, but my real concern with this section is the lack of explanation regarding causes. It basically just says, the intifada broke out when Sharon visited the Temple Mount. While that may have been the initial trigger, it certainly wasn't the underlying cause. The underlying cause was of course the breakdown of the Oslo peace process and the reasons for that breakdown, but there is no mention whatever of these factors in the article. Gatoclass 02:51, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Add them, then. Isarig 03:51, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
As Isarig said, feel free to add them, but be prepared for some scrutiny if you are going down that path. For example, be sure your sources are well aware of Arafat's personal involvement in planning and executing the Second Intifada almost immediately following the Camp David Summit. (Read The Oslo Syndrome by Kenneth Levin, page 423, for details or go to MEMRI and type in the search terms "Arafat Intifada Camp David" and find numerous articles translated from Arabic attesting to this fact). --GHcool 05:26, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Gato, the article on the yom-kippour war just states the attacker and the defender. I believe you make a good fuss out of nothing much.

3. First intifada. What caused it? I quote: "the failure of the PLO to achieve any kind of meaningful diplomatic solution to the Palestinian issue." The Israelis, apparently, bear no responsibility at all for the lack of progress. Beginning to see a pattern here?

Well either you misread or you just want to prove your point since it is written:

The First Intifada, 1987-1993, began as an uprising [...] against the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the failure of the PLO to achieve any kind of meaningful diplomatic solution to the Palestinian issue.

As I see it the First Intifada was caused by the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank after the failure of a diplomatic sln of the Palestinian issue.

7. Second intifada. A list of all the violent things Palestinians did. That's about it for this section. Totally one sided yet again.

I agree with you that the section on Palestinian violence should be summarized and there should be something about Israeli retaliation.

8. Arab peace initiative. Why couldn't Israel accept? Because the Palestinians won't end terrorism. And look! Saudi Arabia funds Hamas, proving once more that Arabs can't be trusted.

What are you saying here? You are just disagreeing with what Shimon Perez said, or what Bush said, not with the section, so I dont see why this is POV. Please keep your personal opinion of the conflict to yourself and stick to the facts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Patrick.N.L (talkcontribs) 09:14, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed rewrite of 1967 war section[edit]

Okay, I've done a rewrite of this section which I think gives a more detailed and balanced picture. I thought I might as well post it here first to get some feedback. Please note that in addition to the extra detail, I've striven hard to make it as NPOV as possible, by avoiding as far as possible blame or implied blame of either side, even where it could reasonably be argued that blame exists. I figure that people who want more info can always go and read the dedicated article on the six day war. I've yet to include refs BTW, but all of this stuff is easily sourced. Anyhow, here it is (revised proposal as of 25th June):

The Six Day War of June 1967 was arguably the most decisive war in the conflict, with the most far-reaching effects. Causes of the war are well established, but the question of which side bears most responsibility for its occurence is still a keenly debated topic.

In 1955, Israel and the Arab states had agreed in principle to the US-sponsored Johnston water allocation plan for the region, but in the wake of the Suez war the Arab states ended their cooperation. Israel continued construction of its national water carrier in conformity with the now defunct agreement, and completed it in 1964, but Syria now objected to the scheme and in 1965 iniiated a scheme of its own aimed at reducing supply to the Israeli carrier. Israel responded by shelling and bombing the Syrian construction works, forcing the Syrians to abandon their plan.

Territorial disputes between Israel and Syria were also growing. Ever since the 1949 armistice, Israeli and Syria had been separated by a UN-monitored demilitarized zone, but both sides laid claim to territories within the zone and could not agree on a means of demarcation. When Israel began making de facto claims on the DMZ by cultivating it for Israeli use, the Syrians responded with artillery fire, triggering numerous armed exchanges between the two sides. These border skirmishes, along with defeat in the "water war", spurred the Syrians to begin sponsoring cross-border raids against Israel by Palestinian miltants. While such raids did little damage, they also served to heighten tensions.

In November 1966 in response to a minelaying raid attributed to such militants, Israel launched a brigade-sized military assault on the Jordanian village of Samu, from which the raid was presumed to have originated. The Israeli raid triggered a campaign of mockery in the Arab world against Egyptian President Nasser, the self-styled pan-Arab leader. In April 1967, another border clash between Israel and Syria resulted in an aerial dogfight over Damascus in which six Syrian jets were shot down, increasing pressure on Nasser to make a concrete gesture of support for his Syrian ally.

On May 17, Nasser asked the UN peacekeeping force on the Egypt-Israeli border to leave, and moved several divisions into the Sinai within striking distance of Israel. On May 22, he went further by reimposing the pre-Suez blockade of Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran - an action which the Israelis had long avowed would be considered by them a casus belli. On May 30, Jordan joined the Egypt-Syria mutual defence pact.

On June 5, citing the Egyptian naval blockade and fears of a combined Arab invasion, Israel launched what it termed a pre-emptive strike on the Arab alliance. The attack began with a massive air assault on Egyptian and thereafter Syrian airfields, catching and destroying the Arab air forces on the ground and thereby establishing total air superiority for the rest of the campaign. A lightning armoured assault on Egyptian forces in the Sinai followed. On June 6, the Israeli offensive was expanded to include Jordan, and on June 9 Syria. In just six days of war, Israel captured Gaza and the Sinai from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. The status of these captured territories would do much to shape the course of the conflict in coming years.

Failure of peace talks

A week after the end of the war, the Israeli cabinet met and agreed in principle to return the Golan Heights to Syria and the Sinai peninsula to Egypt in exchange for comprehensive peace treaties with both countries. The offer however did not include return of either the Gaza Strip to Egypt or the West Bank to Jordan. While the cabinet decision was never submitted to the Arabs as a formal offer, it appears the Egyptians were informed of it via the US and rejected it as a basis for negotiations. The Arabs wanted a full withdrawal by Israel from the territories captured in the recent war as a basis for peace talks, which the Israelis in turn were not prepared to consider.

By July, the Israeli cabinet was having second thoughts about its initial proposal, and agreeing to the establishment of Israeli settlements not only in the West Bank, but also in the Golan Heights. In late August, the Arab League met at Khartoum and issued the "three noes" - no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel and no recognition of Israel. In spite of its apparent hardline position, the Khartoum resolution did not rule out indirect negotiations or the possibility of a diplomatic settlement. The resolution however did persuade Israel to formally withdraw its initial terms as outlined by the June cabinet meeting.

The Arabs feared that direct negotiations with the Israelis would enable the latter to dictate terms. They wanted to negotiate terms through the UN, which they felt would help guarantee their rights. The Israeli position was a mirror image of the Arab. The Israelis wanted direct negotiations, and feared that a UN-brokered agreement would be both unrealistic and to their disadvantage. In the event, indirect UN-brokered peace talks were initiated through the auspices of the Jarring mission, which the Israelis only participated in with great reluctance and which were thereby probably doomed to failure. The Israelis instead held secret direct negotiatons with Jordan over the future status of the West Bank, but with neither party able to agree on a settlement, the conflict was set to continue.

Gatoclass 04:56, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

This looks good to me. There are some problems though with your earlier edits in the "Arab-Israeli Conflict" The Straits of Tiran and even the Suez Canal closures before the 1956 war were an on again, off again thing, the S of T one first occurring in 1950 IIRC. This was partially due to international pressure or not, like SC 95 which insisted the canal be open. On the other hand, the British agreed in 1951 that Egypt had some rights of searching shipping going through the straits, though. The Constantinople Convention applies to the canal, not the straits. Israel's main import in the early 50s through the straits was cement carried on non-Israeli ships, Israeli-flagged shipping through either waterway being relatively unimportant. Israel was using it to build the port, which had not existed before. The port wasn't really operating til shortly before the war, so the idea that it was of actual current economic importance before this war is foolish - of course it became important, as a conduit for most of Israel's oil imports after this war. I'm mentioning this because there were some recent edits to the Suez War article which grossly exaggerated the economic importance. If you are interested and have the time you might want to look at that article. A good accessible source on the maritime issues is Fred Khoury's great old book The Arab-Israeli Dilemma; I was planning on writing something on the confusing maritime & legal issues a long time ago, based on this and on the J N Moore Arab Israeli international law readings & documents volumes. Again, I like what you did for the 6-day here, although that article can be such an edit-war zoo I don't have high hopes of much of it migrating there, as a summary or something.John Z 07:20, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Well thanks for the endorsement John, coming from someone as obviously knowledgeable as you about this area it's much appreciated :) I'm not sure which edits you are referring to from the Arab-Israeli conflict but I obviously had to keep things pretty simple on that page because it's only meant as a WP:SUMMARY. And as you say it's not that easy to track down specifics in general histories, which are pretty much all that are available to me (without considerable expenditure at least). But thanks for the Khoury reference, I might see if I can track it down.
I also agree with you about the "edit zoo" at the six-day war. That article has everything but the kitchen sink, and still somehow fails to deliver a clear account. I do think though that it could probably use a little more info in some areas, as well as cutbacks in some others, and eventually I might try to do a bit there, but I think this article is currently in more need of revision. Anyhow, always good to get some input from you :) Gatoclass 07:56, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I believe that this should be implemented for now since the current version is not at all acceptable as it is. Especially for the part about Jordan's attack on Israel and Syria shelling the border as the cause of the invasion of the Golan heights and the West Bank plus the part that puts forward Egypt troops in the Sinai and lack of a diplomatic resolution as the starting cause of the conflict. I do not need to say that the attacks from Jordan was due to the alliance of Jordan to Egypt, and Nasser exhorting Hussein to attack; an alliance, in part caused by the Israeli-Jordanian conflict, initiated by Israel after heavy reprisals of terrorist attacks passing through Jordan from Syria. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Patrick.N.L (talkcontribs) 13:18, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Your article is complete but it has too many details that are quite unecessary since they are already covered on the 6 day war page. We just need a good wrap up of the war and a good wrap up of the events that led to it(notice the repetition). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Patrick.N.L (talkcontribs) 08:56, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Hamas-Fatah conflict[edit]

I'm tempted to delete the section on the Hamas-Fatah conflict since I don't believe that it fits under the rubric of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It seems more localized to the Palestinian people only. Perhaps in the future if and when Israel becomes more directly involved in the conflict, it might be worth mentioning here, but right now I don't see how this is part of the Arab-Israeli conflict any more than changes in Israeli administration are part of the overall conflict. I'm willing to hear other opinions before deleting it. --GHcool 22:31, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

It's relevant because it's a direct consequence of Israeli/international sanctions on the Hamas government and the refusal of Israeli to recognize Hamas. It hardly needs its own heading though, it could be just as well included in the previous section - although that section too is in need of some work. Gatoclass 23:54, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this measure. I'm going to include it under the above section. --GHcool 00:27, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

NPOV tag[edit]

A couple of days ago, I tried to remove the NPOV tag at the top of the article page citing that there is currently no discussion on the talk page concerning this article's NPOV or lack thereof. Gatoclass reverted this action saying, "Yes, there is still a dispute. There's a lot of work to do on this page, and it's going to take quite a while to fix it." So my question to Gatoclass and others is what can/should be done in order to get that ugly NPOV tag off the page? --GHcool 18:42, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Well, I made a start by proposing a rewrite of the '67 war section above. Unfortunately after posting it I began to struggle with the question of what happened directly after the war and why the peace talks failed, and I also wasn't 100% happy with my own initial proposal. I've since been fiddling around trying to come up with a formulation which I think is adequately balanced and meets the needs of NPOV, but my efforts grew a bit stale and I decided to let it rest for a while. But since you've asked the question, I'll try to get back and finish this little project in the next day or two.
However, the six day war is not the only problematic section in this article. Although the article as a whole is perhaps not as bad as I originally thought, it's still rather one-sided in some respects and needs at least a bit of polish here and there to fix it. I don't anticipate agreeing to the removal of the template until all the issues are fixed, and that might take a while yet. Regards, Gatoclass 03:25, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
When I asked "what can/should be done in order to get that ugly NPOV tag off the page," I was hoping the answer might take the form of a proposed course of action. Since there is no proposed course of action, would I be correct in assuming that you "just don't feel comfortable" about taking the NPOV tag off? If that is how you feel, then I must insist that the NPOV tag be taken off regardless of how you feel. The NPOV tag is meant to be a temporary measure for ensuring that people read with caution until all the NPOV disputes are sorted out. The status quo seems to be that we are waiting patiently for an unspecified amount of time until somebody aside from you or me fix the article to your satisfaction without any guidance from either of us on how the article should be fixed. This is an unrealistic expectation and therefore I think it would be best if we discuss and perhaps improve the passages that you call "one-sided" ourselves or else remove the NPOV tag. --GHcool 04:36, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Quite frankly I don't see what the big hurry is. Articles relating to the Is-Pal conflict are notoriously contentious - just take a look at half a dozen at random, if they're not actually locked down because of content disputes they are almost invariably plastered with other templates objecting to one thing or another. So why the big deal over getting the template removed on this particular one?
If you want a list of all the things I think are wrong with this article, I can give you one but I think it's rather a waste of time, I'd rather actually work on fixing articles than on composing lists of things they lack.
But look I will try hard over the next day or two to knuckle down and try to sort out my proposed text on the six day war, then we can try to come to a consensus on that, or what needs to be done with that section, after which we can start moving onto other sections and trying to find a consensus on those. It simply isn't possible to do everything at once. Regards, Gatoclass 08:52, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
There ordinarily would not be a "big hurry" to take an NPOV tag down if there actually was an NPOV problem being disputed, but if there is no NPOV problem being disputed (and make no mistake, there currently is not), then one must assume that it the NPOV of the article is satisfactory to all. As the person supporting the change in the status quo (keeping the tag and ignoring the problem), the onus was on me to request that the status quo should be changed, provide an argument for changing it, and propose a reasonable course of action to take. I feel like I did a fairly good job of living up to that responsibility. The ball is now in your court to either provide a better argument for keeping the status quo and ignoring the problem, or else you have the option of cooperating with me to find a solution. You don't have to give a list like the one I initially requested if you think it will be "a waste of time," but if you are serious about making the article NPOV, you could change the stuff within the article that you don't like. If I don't like some of your changes, I'll change those ones back and we'll talk about how we can resolve those differences. The bottom line is that NPOV articles do not happen magically through inaction. --GHcool 17:57, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

if there is no NPOV problem being disputed (and make no mistake, there currently is not)

How you come to this conclusion I can't imagine. I'm asserting that there is an NPOV problem, hence there is an NPOV dispute. If anybody disputes NPOV, it's self evident there is a dispute.

if you are serious about making the article NPOV, you could change the stuff within the article that you don't like.

Which is exactly what I'm proposing to do. I've simply said it's going to take me a little while to get it done. I'll try to set some time aside tonight or tomorrow for finalizing a proposal for the six day war, then we can discuss the proposed changes, after which we can move onto other issues. Regards, Gatoclass 02:50, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I've now taken the time to revise my proposal for the six day war section, which you can read above. Part of the reason it took me so long to get around to doing this is because it needed a discussion on the failed peace talks in the aftermath of the war, which is quite a complex issue and not easy to summarize. I decided that this issue requires a reasonably thorough treatment because of its importance and complexity, and also because of the competing claims regarding the failure of the talks. As always, I've striven hard to put both sides of the debate and not take sides. Let me know of any concerns you may have about the piece. Regards, Gatoclass 05:06, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I liked your proposal very much. You did a great job of presenting both sides and took great care with the historical accuracy. The only thing I ask to be changed would be to delete the sentence, "Causes of the war are well established, but the question of which side bears most responsibility for its occurence is still a keenly debated topic." To the best of my understanding, serious scholars generally agree that the Arabs bear most of the responsibility for the war's occurance. If you can cite a "keen debate" on this issue between a large number of serious historians, then I'll accept its inclusion in the section. --GHcool 20:27, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks GH :) This is just a quick courtesy post, unfortunately my hard drive had a meltdown last night - which turned out to be a mouse meltdown (after I'd paid for a new hard drive, darn it) - and having installed the new HD I now find that XP won't recognize my modem for some reason, so it might take me a day or two to get this sorted out. I'm posting this from my local library, tried to download an essential driver from the net but it won't fit on my floppy so I'll have to come back tomorrow with a writeable CD instead (should have thought of that to begin with).
Other than that, I'll respond to your comments as soon as I can get my net connection up and running again. Regards, Gatoclass 10:39, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Ugh. I understand your situation. Take as much time as you need. I won't change anything on the article page. --GHcool 17:45, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I believe that the only issues that needs to be tackled is the second intifada and then we can remove the NPOV tag if nobody objects. I put a suggestion for the intifada feel free to change it if you want, but I strongly support Gatoclass issue on that section and I feel we should change it to bring this article up to par (Patrick.N.L (talk) 07:02, 18 February 2008 (UTC))

Sorry, I've been meaning to get back to this page for ages but after my HD meltdown I had some second thoughts about my original proposal and then got busy with other things. I can't say whether or not the article still has POV problems because I haven't read it right through lately, it has improved a little since I last saw it but I still think there could be more improvement. But I'll have a read right through it again and let you know what I think. Gatoclass (talk) 07:59, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I've had a quick read through it and apart from a few mistatements it is not too bad, although I think some sections still need expansion and clarification. It could do with a clean up, but with a few tweaks here and there I think it probably isn't too far away from having the POV tag removed. Gatoclass (talk) 08:12, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Al-Aqsa Intifada[edit]

This section need to be combed a lot. First it has already been noted that this section was POV. Nothing is false in this section, it is just that there are details about only one side of the conflict. Logically, the details should amount to less than on a page about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict history; this is not the case! I would suggest that shorter is better, first it will solve POV problem, second it will be easier and faster to read through, and reader can always find complete info on the page of the intifada.

As first draft for a more neutral section I would suggest this(taken mostly from the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict history)

The al-Aqsa Intifada was a wave of violence which began in September 2000 between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis; it is also called the Second Intifada. Many Palestinians consider the intifada to be a war of national liberation against foreign occupation, whereas many Israelis consider it to be a terrorist campaign. B'Tselem, estimated the death toll to be 3,396 Palestinians and 994 Israelis [6]. The Intifada also created "heavy economic losses to both sides" of the conflict.[4] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Patrick.N.L (talkcontribs) 06:28, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

are Israelis fool heroes??[edit]

Who believes in the Israeli perspectives should say yes. Heroes who have cut off the Egyptian third army and were able to destroy it but were fool enough not to do so...never the less, they even gave the Egyptians back the Suez Canal. think that's surprising? is the kicker, they even left the Sinai with it's tourist attracting sites, and oil fields which were their only long term source!!, they even kicked their own citizens out of the Sinai. Of course all of that is because they love Egyptians, and the proof of that is that the percentage of them visiting Egypt is less 3 times than that of the Egyptians. A missing part of the story is then why the heck did not they do so from the beginning, and why did they occupy the Sinai in the first place? but of course the one who believes what was mentioned above would say maybe those ideas did not pass through their minds it the time, or that they changed their opinions, and decided that they had had enough war with the Egyptians so give the a NARROW STRIPE (WHICH IS 15 KILOMETERS WIDE, AND 163 KILOS LONG!!). donot be surprised when such a person is asked then why didnot they just SPARE Egypt, but at least keep the October 24 lines, or the October 22's? where the answer would be they did not like Africa :)D. A person who believes in the Egyptian perspective such as me, would be believing in the following: the Egyptian light armed infantry faced the heavily fortified bar-lev line, and won within 6 hours. artillery unites along with the air force had the major rule in tiring the Israeli reserve in the Sinai. the commandos held back the Israeli reserve until the armored forces finally crossed the canal. the out-dated Egyptian armour was aided by the anti-tank infantry who were the main reason for Israeli armour set backs. in the second phase of the war, the Egyptian armour advanced in a major attack to help the Syrians, that attack was repelled. finally, the Israeli forces found a weakly defended gape between the 2 Egyptian armies which was actually used for transporting supplies. out numbered, and out gunned, the small force there was taken by the IDF which crossed in the narrow gape. Not a matter of surprise, the UN led by USA finally realized whoa, there is a war up there and made the first cease fire decision. the decision was not respected by the Israeli side which attacked cities of the canal, but failed to hold them due to the civil defense forces supplied by the army. the rest is the same in the Israeli version. The IDF cut off supplies on the 3rd army, but latter, in return of sparing the Israeli POWs, the 3rd army was supplied with food, water, and other non-military needs. finally, the war ended with the Israeli side withdrawing not "allowing the Egyptians to get back so, and so..." as deep as approximately. one third of the Sinai, the land appandoned by the IDF was occupied by Egyptian forces, and the canal is back into service under Egyptian control. other long-term results of the war were fare more better case for the Egyptian side.a and I tell u what, u have the absolute right to believe the perspective u want, but if u want a real neutral source, I recommend the american government documentaries which stayed classified for a period, now it can be found, and downloaded from the George Washington university web site. —Preceding unsigned comment added by One last pharaoh (talkcontribs) 18:44, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Please review WP:SOAPBOX. Thanks. --GHcool (talk) 21:44, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

GHcool, why did u delete the editors name??? One last pharaoh (talk) 23:35, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

The title of the publication is The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Your edit erroneously asserts that the title of the publication is The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East, Avraham Sela. I hope this clears things up. --GHcool (talk) 00:00, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
yes, it does. but the publication donot have a wikipedia article, or maybe there is a one i donot know. so the reader who donot already know much about The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East would be laking illustration, and most important, the informations about the editor. the editors name is the primary part here not where did he mention his opinion. so u may edit the publication title, but with out deleting the editors name. i did not object editing the publication title, so it's fare that u donot object editing the editors name which has a wikipedia article that enable the reader to know about him if he donot.One last pharaoh (talk) 12:44, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
The information is has a footnote at the end of it (footnote #4) which has a link to Sela's article. --GHcool (talk) 16:59, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

the American government documentaries can never be trusted as they were clearly on the Israeli side and even till now it is better for them that the arabs remained discouraged and fearing Israel so beside if the Israeli had the power to destroy the third army why didn't they at the very least push them back or stop them from gainng ground (after the third army was encircled it kept gaining ground) it should be noted though that egypt had the power to close the gab and later destroy the divisions that crossed however for political reasons which Sadat saw (that man is a diplomatic genius but i really hate him) a total victory was impossible and inflicting such a blow on the Israeli would have probably make the peace process impossible and Israel would then keep Sinai and with the destruction of the USSR that would be Egypt's end so the best solution for Egypt to get Sinai back and for Israel to avoid humiliating defeat and heavy casualties was to return Sinai to Egypt and to have peace with them thus neutralizing its most dangerous enemy in the area back then in 1973 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nightshadow 2007 (talkcontribs) 16:10, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

War of 1967[edit]

Pharaoh, you can't be serious. "rv. vandalism, ur personal interest or opinion is not supposed to influence the article". Vandalism? The phrase you keep inserting, with emphasis yet, simply has no logical connection with the preceding phrase or the context. Or am I missing something? Israel didn't have 264,000 troops in the peninsula, or even mobilized, so what, then, is the relevancy? This is about improving the article, not about my "personal interest or opinion". What about your own, for that matter? Why not try explaining and justifying your edit, rather than attacking other editors? Hertz1888 (talk) 15:19, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

so now ur talking about attacking other editors? well, i am not the one who attacked other editors first. i have mentioned no thing about that israel had it's troops in the sinai. u can edit that it did not have them in the peninsula although it would be silly, but donot delet the information. it's taken from the wikipedia article about the war, go check the sources there. and i donot know what to say about it's relevance, or more likely what u want me to say. the article mentions how many troops did egypt have in the peninsula, and it doesnot matter now weather that's all the troops in egypt back there or not, but mentioning how many troops did israel have is totally relevant just like any conflicts info box mentioning the man-power of combatants. also, it's said here in wikipedia, that israel attacked the arabs after its success in egypt, so virtually the israeli military man power was opposed to egypt then to arabs.One last pharaoh (talk) 15:50, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
look Hertz, i always try to avoid making enemies, and make friends, but u shocked me when u throw away that confort. maybe we can continue the discussion latter if u want, because i have to go now. One last pharaoh (talk) 16:08, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
A good way to antagonize others is to throw around that accusation of "vandalism" baselessly. That is what I meant by "attacking other editors". If you want to demonstrate a more collaborative approach, please consider removing the warning on my talk page, with an explanation. Hertz1888 (talk) 17:13, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
A point that needs no discussion is that i donot intend to antagonize any user. may u consider deleting ur warning on my talk page - with the difference here is that i wasnot aware of the vandalism stuff, and did not deserve such a warning level-, if u accept a more collaborative approach. That is what i meant by i am not the one who attacked other editors first. i would be glad to delete my warning then. One last pharaoh (talk) 18:23, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll be glad to do it, but not on that basis. I committed no vandalism, only routine editing, but was accused of vandalism. You were merely informed that the three-revert rule might apply to what you were doing at the time. That hardly constitutes an "attack". You might find it helpful to read WP:AGF. Hertz1888 (talk)

P.S. Quoting WP:VAND: "Any good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism." Hertz1888 (talk) 15:32, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

apparently that wasnot a good-faith One last pharaoh (talk) 15:50, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
On what basis? My edit summaries give routinely editorial explanations. Hertz1888 (talk) 17:13, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
That's a description i agree with u about when u talk about the last edit, which represents a mid-solution, or a solution that satisfies all sides, not reverting an edit. so as u can see, i support that solution rather than reverting.One last pharaoh (talk) 18:23, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad you support mid-solutions, but please keep in mind that reverting, in itself, especially with explanations (which all my edits had), is not automatically an unfriendly act. Assume good faith. Hertz1888 (talk) 19:37, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Al-Qa'eda claims more than dubious[edit]

Claiming Palestine as a big motive for al-Qa'eda seems quite incorrect, since Bin Ladin barely mentioned Palestine at all for many years (in clear contrast to the burning grievance he expressed over the issue of the stationing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia). Al-Qa'eda conspicuously failed to launch any attack aimed mainly at Israelis or Jews until over ten years after the organization was founded (i.e. the Kenyan hotel bombings). At most, generalized overall Arab or Muslim resentments made it easier to find recruits for al-Qa'eda -- but saying that al-Qae'da attacked New York "beacause" of Palestine seems pretty much nonsensical. AnonMoos (talk) 18:27, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

besides, claiming that it's an arab motivation is incorrect too.One last pharaoh (talk) 19:57, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Media reporting has evolved over time?[edit]

Some snippets from Time Magazine to use as food for thought:

At London, in an address before a session of the World Zionist Organization, Sir Herbert Samuel, High Commissioner of Palestine, waxed enthusiastic over the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home and the general progress of Palestine. Said he:

"The industrial exposition in Tel-Aviv revealed the development of Palestinian industry, and was a convincing indication that Palestine may become the industrial centre of the Middle East within our generation."

Profoundly disapproving of the Zionist policy of discrimination against Arab labor, he concluded that Jewish nationalism encouraged Arab nationalism, while the depressing of Arab wages made conflict inevitable. Jews who had been persecuted in Germany now persecuted Arabs and preached a doctrine of racial purity as relentless as the one under which they had suffered. A little dizzy from following this vicious circle all the way around, Gessner came reluctantly to a doubtful conclusion: "If we can't get along with the Arabs, we have failed."

They talked confidently—indeed, stridently—of a state of ten million, not necessarily confined to the present boundaries of Israel. It was a bad joke, and also a sober observation, that the idea of Drang nach Osten lived in the new nation of Hitler's victims. As they looked around them at a disorganized and unproductive Arab world, Israelis showed some of the reactions of the prewar Germans looking around a disorganized and unproductive Europe. The new blood of nationalism ran fast and hot in Israel; sometimes it seemed to be gushing out on the ground. Pleading for more understanding and tolerance of Israel, one sympathetic observer warned: "This could become an ugly little Spartan state."

--Stor stark7 Speak 15:14, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality of discussion of pre-1948 violence[edit]

Article has a robust discussion of Arab violence but just one 'afterthought' sentence about Jewish violence. Without that sentence, this would be a public relations release. Content needed by someone with a complete understanding of this history. A neutrality alert seems appropriate. RaqiwasSushi (talk) 23:27, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Feel free to add material that doesn't violate WP:Undue weight and is cited to reliable sources, but don't add a tag just because you don't like it. --GHcool (talk) 01:23, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

" By the end of World War I, about 300,000 Arabs emigrated into Palestine"[edit]

The claim made in this edit is false, hence my revert. --Frederico1234 (talk) 13:40, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

The revert was justified even though it had lots more than that. Miscellaneous points:
* The claim should have been presented as a claim by the Israeli Ambassador to the USA, which it would be except that he doesn't even say that ("by the end of WWI" is absent). It should be noted that the claim has been repeatedly debunked by actual experts on the subject. Actually 300,000 is real Joan Peters land.
* Myths & Facts is a useless propagandistic source not even close to reliable.
* Dershowitz absolutely did not claim "organized attacks against Jews, initially with British support", which is a ridiculous allegation.
* The addition "the Arabs that the British had no intention of transforming Palestine into a Jewish state." confuses 1937 with 1920.
* The "Gaza War" paragraph is an uncited editorial and has no place here.

Zerotalk 13:57, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

  • The 300,000 Arabs claim is cited to Oren's book, which was written before he was Israeli ambassador (not that that matters at all). Please don't poison the well. He is a respected historian and a reliable source by any standard.
  • The info cited to Myths and Facts is cited to Dershowitz as well. Oren says the same thing (I'll add the citation). Here is the Dershowitz quote: "The grand mufti characterized the murder of Jewish women ... as the beginning of a revolt, which continued through the 1930s, with even greater rewards from the British" (44).
You can't cite an unreliable source even if it agrees with other sources. Dershowitz does not say that the British supported attacks agains Jews, you are misreading his words. Zerotalk 00:12, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • You make a fair point on the 1937/1920 thing. I'm removing that.
  • You're welcome to improve the Gaza War paragraph, but please don't delete it wholesale. --GHcool (talk) 16:48, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
You know what the rules about sources are. No uncited commentary allowed. No text presenting the case of only one side of a conflict allowed. Zerotalk 00:05, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
OMG. I searched in Orens book using Amazon. It seems that he is actually making the claim that 300,000 Arabs immigrated to Palestine. Unbelievable. GHcool, could you check what source Oren is using for his claim? Is it Peters or Gottheil? --Frederico1234 (talk) 17:14, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I returned the book to the library already. I'll try to get it again if I have time. --GHcool (talk) 20:54, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I was at the library and found it. Oren names the following titles in his citation for the section in question: The Mufti of Jerusalem by Mattar, Crossroads to Israel by Sykes, and The Struggle for Palestine by Hurewtiz. He indicates that there are many other books on the history of the A-I conflict and listed those three as being among the most respected in the field and least biased toward one side or the other. --GHcool (talk) 23:51, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I am quite familiar with the first two of those books. They do not claim that the British ever supported Arabs in attacking Jews. Actually Dershowitz and Oren don't claim it either. It is a ridiculous claim. The first two books also do not contain the 300,000 claim. I don't think Oren gives a source for that. It flatly contradicts all the research by demographers on the subject. Zerotalk 00:05, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Oren and Dershowitz do, in fact, claim just that. Until Zero writes a book that becomes an accepted reliable source on the same level as Oren, I suggest he keep his opinion to himself as they carry no weight in arguments on Wikipedia. --GHcool (talk) 00:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps English is not your first language. Neither Oren nor Dershowitz nor Sykes nor Mattar claim that the British supported Arabs in attacking Jews. The most Dershowitz (who is a lawyer and amateur activist who likes emotive outbursts, not a historian) claims is that the British responded by restricting Jewish immigration. That's entirely different. No mainstream historian claims that the British actually supported attacks, it is a serious libel that contradicts the facts. It cannot be allowed. Zerotalk 01:18, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

We still can't say in the neutral voice of the encyclopedia that "about 300,000 Arabs emigrated into Palestine", as the actual evidence, as presented by multiple WP:RS says that Arab emigration was pretty much negligible. I will supply such sources upon request. --Frederico1234 (talk) 00:52, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I just edited the article so it doesn't say that specifically. --GHcool (talk) 05:30, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
And I've edited the article so that it provides a source for the claim. I hope other editors will regard this as an improvement. I should add that I would not object to the inclusion of counter-claims by other authors generally regarded as reliable sources. CJCurrie (talk) 05:40, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
You didn't check it against the source, which is not the same. I edited it to comply, but the problem with inserting fringe claims into articles is that insertion of the careful calculations of experts will just make them look silly. On this issue, 300,000 is simply preposterous and contrary to a large body of science. It is also easy to quote expert opinion that such claims are deliberate distortions. Zerotalk 09:33, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Just to clarify, my edit was simply intended to improve the current use of the Oren text, not to justify his claim. I won't object to the Oren reference being deleted entirely but, if we are to include it, we should indicate the source rather than presenting it as uncontested fact. CJCurrie (talk) 00:57, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

"Palestinian Arabs" vs. simply "Arabs"[edit]

I objected to the phrasing in these edits because describing the Arab residents of Ottoman Palestine as "Palestinian Arabs" (and linking to the Palestinian people article) implies that the modern day Palestinian identity described in the Palestinian people existed since the 1880s. It did not. It would be more accurate to describe the conflict as between Jews and Arabs, rather than as Jews and Palestinian Arabs. --GHcool (talk) 19:29, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

They were more than "residents" but okay.
Palestinian Arabs refers to those who today are referred to as Palestinians. The link to an article about the general article about Arabs is not relevant because this is about the the Arabs in Palestine. Their history is detailed at length in the article Palestinian people so it's absolutely relevant.
Palestine is the region and they are Arabs, which is why they are called "Palestinian Arabs". It's common term and it's much more logical than to only call them Arabs and link to a general article. Only that part was changed to "Palestinian Arabs" and a link to them, other are lefts but it should clear which Arabs it's about. --IRISZOOM (talk) 23:23, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Your objection to linking to the article on Arabs is reasonable.
As the article on Palestinian people details, the modern day Palestinian identity developed during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. This is the earliest I've seen a legitimate scholar place the development of the Palestinian identity. The idea that "Palestinian Arabs" (linked to Palestinian people) lived in Palestine in the 1880s makes about as much sense as "Israeli Jews" (linked to Israeli Jews) living in the same region in 1880s. --GHcool (talk) 00:07, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
No, it doesn't say that the identity was devoloped during that revolt. But it isn't what we are talking about, we are not talking about calling them Palestinians but Palestinian Arabs. That's an accepted term. It refers to those Arabs who lived in Palestine and today are referred to as Palestinians. The fact that their identity developed later, like all other nationalities, and are called Palestinians now, doesn't change that they were Palestinian Arabs, just as the Arabs in Yemen were Yemeni Arabs, there were Syrian Arabs, Lebanese Arabs etc. --IRISZOOM (talk) 06:51, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'll change it to be a conflict between "Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs" without any anachronistic links and an explanatory reference from Britannica. --GHcool (talk) 22:02, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Why is it "anachronistic" to link to the article Palestinian people? There is no dispute that Palestinian Arabs refers to the Palestinians. No "explanatory reference from Britannica" is needed as this is an accepted term. Are you disputing that this refers to them and that this is an accepted term to describe the people? --IRISZOOM (talk) 22:50, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Furthermore, we are not talking about describing them as Palestinians but Palestinian Arabs so inserting the "explanatory reference" is even more confusing. --IRISZOOM (talk) 22:53, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
OK. I'll link to the part of the Palestinian people article that describes the origins of the self-identity. I think the reference with Britannica should stay. It clarifies more than it confuses. --GHcool (talk) 23:41, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
You have no basis at all for your changes. This is what some term "Palestine denialism". Palestinian Arabs are an accepted term and linking to Palestinian people when mentioning them are common, such as at Haj Amin al-Husseini, Army of the Holy War and Deir Yassin.
There seems to be a giant misunderstanding here. I did not intend to deny Palestinian identity. I just wanted to clarify terms and link to the correct part of the Palestinian people page. Please don't assume any malicious intent when there is none on my part. --GHcool (talk) 00:59, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
It's not the "correct part" and no "explanatory reference" is warranted. In addition, the Britannica reference talks about Palestinians (which I know you wanted to include in an article about a depopulated village). But that's not the term I inserted, I specifically wrote "Palestinian Arabs" because I know some dispute to only write "Palestinians" for some of the periods. However, I have not seen anyone object to the term Palestinian Arabs (on the contrary, actually). It's common term and refers to those who today are referred to as the Palestinian people. Now you say it can be linked but only to the section Palestinian history and nationalism. But that section is not what is mentioned. It's really surprising that you are objecting this. --IRISZOOM (talk) 01:28, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I didn't realize you felt so strongly about this that you're willing to go to arbitration. I really don't care about it and was being a stickler to improve the article's accuracy. Perhaps you can write "Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs." How does that sound? --GHcool (talk) 02:10, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I went there because of the 1RR but this is not the right place to discuss that. Jews in Palestine wasn't known as Palestinian Jews then but as part of the Yishuv. But I am not objecting anything other than how to describe the Arabs. --IRISZOOM (talk) 02:32, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Would you mind removing the 1RR violation? I already apologized and won't do it anymore. I really want to solve this peacefully. I don't even mind if you rewrite it however you wish. I am not going to stand in your way. I was being overly didactic. --GHcool (talk) 02:50, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Now it's up to admins to decide what to do. But this is offtopic.
I will rewrite the part about the Palestinian Arabs, as I've described before. --IRISZOOM (talk) 03:00, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
In reference to the late Ottoman period, the phrase "Palestinian Arabs" is a well-established phrase whose meaning is understood by nearly everyone: it just means the Arabs who at that time were residents of Palestine and has nothing to do with self-identification or nationalism. The bigger problem at the moment is the phrase "Palestinian Jews". In the late Ottoman context this phrase most commonly refers to the "old Yishuv"; that is, the Jewish residents of Palestine from before the Zionist immigrations that started in the 1880s. So the sentence is now incorrectly stating which groups the conflict was between. Actually the conflict was between the Arab residents of Palestine and the Zionist movement. Zerotalk 05:06, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I support Zero's wording, but I'm not gonna get involved anymore. --GHcool (talk) 06:06, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your edits, Zero0000. --IRISZOOM (talk) 14:00, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Ottoman era section[edit]

I assume that Michael Oren's work which suggests 300,000 Arabs immigrated to Palestine also claimed an initial population of Palestine 300,000, 50%, lower than all the other sources. Is this correct, can someone with access to the source check and if so modify the text added by GHcool to show that Oren's claims go against established history. Thanks, Sepsis II (talk) 22:57, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Oren is not as clear as Sachar is about the number of Arabs that were in Palestine before the 300,000 Arabs immigrated. The relevant text reads: "[T]he half million Arabs of Palestine were scarcely included in Herzl's vision. ... Though attracted to the economic benefits generated by Zionist settlement—an estimated 300,000 Arabs would eventually enter the country from neighboring Arab states—thousands of Palestinian fellaheen ... were displaced by Jewish land purchases while urban workers were marginalized by more technologically skilled Jewish laborers."[1] I interpret him to mean that there were about 200,000 Arabs in Palestine before the 300,000 Arabs arrived, and then there were "half a million" after the 300,000 arrived. This is in the ballpark that Sachar describes. --GHcool (talk) 23:14, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
This is a fringe theory, a grossly one, and they are not demographic scholars. --IRISZOOM (talk) 00:04, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

All my changes were explained. GHcool's revert without explanation and including removal of new high-quality material without even mentioning it was really quite beyond the pale. Let's look in more detail at my edits:

  • Online forums are not reliable sources by Wikipedia standards even if the names appearing there are of qualified people. This is a long-established principle, see WP:USERGENERATED. So that source can't be used at all. But it is worth looking at what Donner (presumably) wrote there. He gave Arab populations for 1880 and 1914 that are almost the same, concluding that "The great majority of them, in other words, were not recent immigrants." Why is it ok to cite this source without mentioning that it contradicts the other sources cited?
  • A newer edition of Howard Sachar's book is here. It seems to have no page numbers. Searching for "number had doubled" locates the required quotation, which indeed says that the Arab population in 1880 "barely reached 260,000". However, Sachar does not attribute the increase from 1880 to 1914 to immigration, so to claim that his analysis is similar to Oren's is simply a falsehood (I didn't check the 1976 edition but we should use the newest edition anyway). Now search in the same book for "000" and look for the map. On there you can read that the approximate Arab population was 470,000 in 1881 and 500,000 in 1914. It flatly contradicts the "260,000" in the text, and also shows a very small increase from 1881 to 1914. If we cite this book we have to note that it doesn't agree even with itself; it is simpler to stick to stick to sources with more demographic expertise.
  • Oren's claim of 300,000 immigrants is much greater than the total increase from all causes between 1880 and 1914, by multiple more qualified sources. So it is physically impossible and should be rejected as WP:FRINGE. Oren (from what I can see, please correct me) gives no source for this claim.
  • With the nonsense about massive Arab immigration gone, there is no need to mention that better sources refute it, so I removed the refutation.
  • Read Richard Meinertzhagen to see why he shouldn't be regarded as a reliable source. He has been exposed as a life-long liar and fraud. He invented events that never happened, forged documents, stole stuff from museums, took credit for the achievements of others, you name it. His claim that the British actually supported Arab violence against Jews was a blatant lie, backed by no evidence whatever. Of course Meinertzhagen made claims like that, such was his nature. The Palin Commission saw through his deceptions and even listed him as one of the causes of the 1920 riots. Garfield (ref on Meinertzhagen page) proved that his "dairy" was repeatedly rewritten to alter the facts.

Zerotalk 00:19, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

The actual population counts made in the 1881-2 Ottoman census were published by Kemal Karpat, International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 9 (1978), pp. 237–274. The relevant numbers are Kudus (Jerusalem) special district 234,770, Akko sanjak 75,882, Belka (Nablus) sanjak 115,314. Total 425,966, which included about 10,000 Jews. These are people actually counted (family heads written down in a register). McCarthy argues that there was undercounting of women and children and adjusts the numbers upwards by about 10%. Not all scholars agree with McCarthy's adjustments, but nobody claims that the counts were too high. Since the main purpose of the census was collecting taxes and young men for military service, there was a strong incentive to under-report. On the other hand, I should mention that the census was not conducted all at once but was a process that lasted several years. It is easy to find other writings from serious demographers in support of similar numbers and I don't see why we should report impossibly low numbers from people with no expertise in the subject who don't even say where they got their numbers from. Zerotalk 01:06, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Here is one by Sergio DellaPergola: Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects, Policy Implications. This is mentioned at Demographics of Palestine:
In his paper 'Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects and Policy Implications'[23] Sergio DellaPergola, drawing on the work of Bachi (1975), provides rough estimates of the population of Palestine west of the River Jordan by religion groups from the 1st century onwards summarised in the table below.
He puts the figure at 275,000 in 1800, 532,000 in 1890 and 689,000 in 1914. --IRISZOOM (talk) 01:17, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you both for clarifying the situation for me - my knowledge is generally limited to what I've read on wikipedia, hah. I've reverted the addition of these dubious claims and writings. Sepsis II (talk) 01:19, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Zero's arguments make sense. The Ottoman section is good the way it is after Sepsis's edit.
But why did Sepsis remove cited material on the Mufti? I intend on restoring it unless somebody else does first. Why did he restore a section on "Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon" that has nothing of value? I intend on removing it unless somebody else does first. --GHcool (talk) 02:10, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

A plea for a 100 year narrative[edit]

Given the importance of the conflict articles to our project I had hoped for more feedback at this RFC, but I think I overcomplicated the description. Some editors may also be thinking "we've been just fine for 10 years so is there really a problem here that needs solving"? I would like to encourage more editors to contribute.

The core issue behind the RFC question is that most readers know very little about the conflict and therefore need one single summary article to read and begin their journey, and we need that single summary article to broadly match the picture that the 1,000s of books summarizing this conflict take. Instead we have sat for many years with three primary articles (IPC since 48, AIC since 48 and ICMP 20-48) which are fine but are missing something above them to thread them together into the 100-year-narrative of the conflict presented by the vast majority of books on the topic.

I recognize that many editors may find the question is a little more dry and boring than many of the debates around here, but its importance to the average Wikipedia reader can hardly be overstated.

Oncenawhile (talk) 11:11, 2 February 2016 (UTC)